A Look at the wonderful Cheltenham Jazz Festival featuring Jazz FM Award Winner Christian Scott, Brand New Heavies, Taj Mahal and Mulatu Astatke.
The 20th Cheltenham Jazz Festival kicked off on Wednesday with the lively Sounds of the 50s Live featuring Imelda May and runs over the bank holiday weekend. The festival delivers a hugely diverse programme that combines established stars with up and coming talent from across the worlds of jazz, blues, pop and soul.
Digital Initiative of the Year winner at this week’s Jazz FM Awards, Jacob Collier, will perform his incredible live-looping one man show in the Jazz Arena tent on Friday evening. Later on Soweto Kinch will perform with his trio before his performance is reworked into a new piece of music by electronic music wizards. This year’s Friday Night is Music Night will celebrate PPL Lifetime Achievement Award winner Quincy Jones’ music with guest appearances from Liv Warfield, Madeline Bell and Ian Shaw. Saturday daytime offers plenty of family activities and lunchtime gigs from Courtney Pine dueting with Zoe Rahman and American singer Jose James performing with his full band. The evening will see the incredible multi-Grammy nominated Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano and Lizz Wright & Frankfurt Radio Big Band performing their UK premiere of songs of Gershwin at the Town Hall. Fresh from their incredible performance at the Jazz FM Awards, Hiatus Kaiyote will treat festival goers to a late-night of funk, hip-hop and jazz.
Sunday offers a rare UK appearance from legendary blues musician Taj Mahal, a performance from the father of Ethio-Jazz Mulatu Astatke who fuses traditional Ethiopian styles with funk, jazz and soul, and The Brand New Heavies. Sunday afternoon sees Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah take audience on an audio journey, demonstrating why he picked up the Jazz FM Awards Jazz Innovation accolade. Monday sees jazz royalty Darius Brubeck Quartet and a double bill of emerging talent with Remi Harris and The Ben Cipolla Band. Ibibio Sound Machine will lift the roof of the Big Top with their West African disco funk show before a closing night concert from the festival’s Artistic Curator Jamie Cullum.
The Festival runs until 2 May 2016 and is hosted in a tented festival village in Cheltenham’s Montpellier Gardens, featuring a Big Top stage, the Jazz Arena and a new Family Tent alongside gigs in nearby venues including the Parabola Arts Centre and Cheltenham Town Hall.